The husband of the British MP murdered by a right-wing extremist has condemned Donald Trump for being a “purveyor of hate” after the US President shared anti-Muslim tweets from a notorious far-right group.
Brendan Cox, the widow of Jo Cox, joined the chorus of disapproval after Trump retweeted three inflammatory anti-Islam videos spread by Britain First figurehead Jayda Fransen.
The Labour MP was stabbed to death last year by Thomas Mair, who was heard to shout ‘Britain first’ while he attacked her.
Brendan Cox told the BBC: “If you look at Trump this isn’t a mistake, this is a strategy. He consistently does this.
“He’s retweeted people on the far-right in the US, he’s shared anti-Semitic memes in the past and his whole campaign was based on calling Mexicans rapists and saying he’d ban Muslims from the country.
“I think we have to recognise now that this is a president who is a purveyor of hate.”
Earlier, Cox wrote: “Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.”
Theresa May and the Archbishop of Canterbury are among many others to have criticised Trump for sharing with his 43 million Twitter followers three videos spread by Britain First’s deputy leader.
“Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tension,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
“They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency, tolerance and respect.”
Downing Street’s condemnation came as Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended his actions.
“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security,” she said.
Labour’s Chuka Umunna renewed requests that Trump’s invitation to visit the UK next year be withdrawn. “I don’t think the president of the United States, a president that has not only promoted bigotry, misogyny and racism in his own country, I don’t think he is welcome here,” Umunna told Sky News.
“Somebody in his position, doing what he has done and said, not only in his own country but now getting involved in the debate here ― he is normalising hatred,” Umunna added.
But Downing Street said Trump’s planned state visit stands: “The United States is one of our oldest and closest allies. An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted. Further details will announced in due course,” a spokesman said.
The videos retweeted by Trump include footage of migrants allegedly assaulting a boy on crutches, clips of a boy allegedly thrown of a roof and a video claiming to show a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary. None of the videos have been verified.